Until recently, growing and collecting seed for next year’s crops was an integral part of all farming practices. Farmers would regularly preserve seed from their best crops to replant the following year. Over time, this practice developed varieties of plants that boasted exceptional resilience and production in their native habitat.
With the rise of industrialized agriculture and the conglomeration of large agri-business, we have lost not only genetic diversity in our crops and foodways, but also the diversity of knowledge needed to produce high-quality seed.
In this workshop, we will go over a brief history of agricultural seed in the U.S. before taking a deep dive into the many factors that go into saving seed: plant life cycles and reproductive biology, pollination methods, seed saving techniques and equipment, as well as important terminology (e.g., hybrid, open-pollinated, heirloom). We’ll also spend time in the field, collecting and preserving seeds from some of our best seasonal varieties of flowers, tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, and whatever else is ready for harvest. Finally, we’ll end our day with a community seed swap! Bring your excess seeds (brought from your home garden, saved from your favorite produce, or purchased elsewhere) to share and trade with your fellow land stewards.